New Delhi: Recycling sewage for human use is the solution for depleting water in rivers and lakes, and rising domestic and industrial waste in Indian cities and towns, said participants at a seminar here Monday.
The two-day seminar on urban India`s water supply and waste management challenges - `Excreta Does Matter` - has been organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) as part of the second Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2013.
"The government should raise awareness among public that treated sewage water is safe and can be used for many purposes," said Uday Kelkar, director, NJS Consultants, an engineering consulting firm that specialises in environmental engineering.
He added that the stigma attached to drinking treated sewage water should be removed, as it has the potential to become one of the cleanest source of water in the future.
Sriniwas Chary, professor, Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, said sewage and health were interconnected.
"Sewage mismanagement would lead to health hazards, as it is not seen as a public health concern, nor an integral component of sanitation. There is no data, research or understanding on sewage management," Chary said.
Arunabha Majumder, professor, Jadhavpur University, West Bengal, said: "Although there are several traditional methods and new technologies to treat sewage, there is poor assessment and poorer planning by the urban local bodies in this regard. They need to take more initiative."
The event saw participation of experts representing private sector, government and non-profit organisations from various states of the country.